Tag Archives: USGBC

Levi Strauss celebrates sustainability achievement

Levi Strauss & Company honored employees stand for photo with Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen at the Levi Strauss & Company‘s Sky Harbor Distribution Center, 501 Executive Airport Drive, in Henderson on Thursday, Jan. 7,2016. The one million square foot distribution center was honored for its sustainability with the Platinum LEED certification.Jeff Scheid/Las Vegas Review-Journal Follow him @jlscheid

Levi Strauss & Company honored employees stand for photo with Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen at the Levi Strauss & Company‘s Sky Harbor Distribution Center, 501 Executive Airport Drive, in Henderson on Thursday, Jan. 7,2016. The one million square foot distribution center was honored for its sustainability with the Platinum LEED certification.Jeff Scheid/Las Vegas Review-Journal Follow him @jlscheid

Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co., summed up his firm’s position as “We want to be the most sustainable apparel company in the world.”

Kobori was speaking Jan. 11 at a ceremony presenting Exhibit A — a Henderson distribution facility that has attained a LEED Platinum Certification for Existing Buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The 620,000-square-foot Levi Sky Harbor Distribution Center, next to Henderson Executive Airport, is the largest facility of its kind in the world to achieve this highest building certification from the USGBC.

Speaking before many of the center’s employees, Kobori was quick to point out that this achievement would not have been possible if it were not for the efforts of the local sustainability team and every individual working in the Henderson facility.

The sustainability team took the initiative by identifying the opportunities, developing the plans and finding ways to fund the resources needed to conserve energy, save water and reduce overall waste. The employees make a conscious effort to recycle everything they possibly can and even bring used batteries from home for the battery-recycling program. The result is a 90 percent reduction in waste that is sent to the local landfill.

During a tour of the facility, Cheryl Smith, a 10-year employee of the company, was proud to show off her idea for energy savings. She designed a wall plate for the light switches with a graphic to remind employees to turn off the lights when they leave a room.

Not only is Levi working to save the environment, the company is also encouraging its employees to be health-conscious. The company has replaced the old vending machines with new ones containing healthy snacks and has developed healthy food menus for the cafeteria. In addition, before workers begin their shift, they gather in the warehouse for an organized stretching program in an effort to reduce muscle and joint injuries.

Levi has called Henderson its home since 1972. It moved from a facility on Conestoga Way to its new facility at St. Rose Parkway and Executive Airport Drive in 1994, six years before the introduction of the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program was introduced.

The process of retrofitting the building to become more sustainable was started in 2010. Levi began by removing the turf and planting drought-tolerant plants around the building. Inside the building, it installed low flow water fixtures and 24-foot diameter ceiling fans to circulate the air and reduce the air-conditioning demand. It has reduced the amount of heat absorbed by the building by installing a white reflective roof that also reduces the outside “heat island effect” by dropping the roof temperature by 45 degrees during the hottest days of the summer.

All of the mechanical equipment used in the warehouse is designed to save energy. The motors used for the conveyor system have sensors that can tell how much weight is being moved and automatically adjust power up or down based on the load. The forklifts are electric, which in addition to reducing air pollution also conserve electricity through a charging system that shuts down when the unit reaches a full charge.

“We have done something that nobody else in the world has done,” said Kobori.

However, that does not mean the company has reached its goal. There are over 4,000 lights throughout the warehouse facility, and calculations are being made as to the cost to convert each fixture to LED bulbs and the estimated energy savings.

“We are going to take what we have learned here in Henderson and use it in our facilities around the world,” said Kobori.

Levi, which also manufactures Dockers and Denizen brands, has three company-owned warehouse distribution facilities in the U.S. and a number of company distribution and manufacturing facilities around the world.

– See more at: http://businesspress.vegas/heard-street/levi-strauss-celebrates-sustainability-achievement#sthash.6IxoLzro.dpuf


‘Green’ goals reflected in building trends

Craig A. Ruark/Special to the Las Vegas Business Press At Konami Gaming, the retrofitted 123,000-square-foot existing building and a 193,000-square-foot addition are pending LEED certification by the USGBC.

Craig A. Ruark/Special to the Las Vegas Business Press At Konami Gaming, the retrofitted 123,000-square-foot existing building and a 193,000-square-foot addition are pending LEED certification by the USGBC.

Despite the slow economic recovery, many businesses are seeing “green” as the path to a sustainable future and achieving a LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as the Medal of Honor.

Las Vegas is home to 81 LEED-rated office, retail, and industrial buildings ranging from the basic certified level and up to silver, gold, and platinum levels. Of those buildings, 55 were designed specifically for energy and water savings, indoor air quality and other components that are part of the LEED certification criteria.

In addition, 20 of the businesses in the Las Vegas Valley have taken steps to modify existing buildings to attain a LEED certification and reap the benefits achieved in annual energy and water savings, as well as improvements in employee health, productivity and morale.

Here is a short list of some notable green building projects under construction:

• TJ Maxx operates a 300,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in North Las Vegas. The facility, completed in 2014, was not originally designed for LEED certification. After an analysis of the economic benefits, alterations were made including energy-efficient lighting, heating, and cooling; water savings features; and enhanced indoor air quality. Following the retrofit, documentation was sent to the USGBC and the building was given a LEED Silver certification under the €œexisting building€ criteria. Beyond the savings achieved in the operation and maintenance of the building, parent company TJX Cos. Inc. feels going green is the right thing to do for the environment. TJX is adding another 300,000 square feet to the building, this time designed specifically to meet LEED criteria for the new construction category.

• A 1 million-square-foot Levi Strauss distribution center off Executive Airport Drive in Henderson is nearing completion. While the company is awaiting completion of the building before announcing the level of sustainability achieved, the expansion was designed to take advantage of the latest energy and water savings technology, with a goal of meeting LEED certification criteria for the new construction category. The existing building has been updated and is awaiting LEED certification under the existing building criteria.

• The Konami Gaming building can be seen while driving along Sunset Road across from McCarran Airport, but what is not visible is the retrofit that was completed on the original 123,000-square-foot building under the LEED existing building criteria. A 193,000-square-foot expansion is under construction and will seek LEED certification for the new construction category.

• A building need not be massive to reap green benefits. In 2013, Jared Fisher and wife Heather, owners of Las Vegas Cyclery, completed construction on a new building near Town Center Drive and the 215. The Fishers, avid outdoor enthusiasts, achieved a LEED Platinum designation for their building, which uses little water and receives 100 percent of its energy from solar panels mounted on the roof, with energy to spare. The Fishers now are building an 8,300-square-foot retail space across the parking lot from their existing store, with a goal of a LEED gold rating under the USGBC core and shell criteria. The building incorporates most of the same environmentally sustainable elements as the original store, including a rooftop solar system that will provide 40 percent of the building’s power. The Fishers hope to lease half of the new building to a food-oriented tenant that also is sustainability oriented.

• One candidate for the Fishers’ new building might be LYFE Kitchen, which operates a restaurant in Henderson’€™s The District at Green Valley Ranch. LYFE is in the process of achieving a LEED certification for each of its 12 locations around the country, including Henderson, under the USGBC interior design and construction criteria for retail establishments.

– See more at: http://businesspress.vegas/green-goals-reflected-building-trends#sthash.k47KNkVX.dpuf